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The Neapolitan Cuzzetiello is a true Neapolitan food. As well knows every Neapolitan, it is dunked into the ragù sauce and is unavoidable on the Neapolitan tables especially on Sundays for lunch. What Sunday would be without a good sauce and a classic Cuzzetiello of cafone bread to plunge in?

Written Cuzzetiello, but pronounced cuztiello, this name immediately evokes childhood memories, grandmother’s home, quarrels with cousins ​​and siblings, plays in the sun in the courtyard. The Cuzzetiello is the most delightful part of the cafone bread, the crunchy and rounded edges, made in secular tradition with sauce of ragù and meatballs.

Over time, numerous variations have been made with the most varied ingredients: zucchini, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, friarielli, baked potatoes … transforming the cuzzetiello in a new form of Neapolitan and streetfood.

The Cuzzetiello is part of the Neapolitan tradition of “marenne“.

The “marenna” is not a snack, not a simple sandwich, but a real cult prepared by Neapolitan mothers: a real full meal concentrated in a cuzzetiello of cafone bread.

There are so many delicious varieties of “marenna” – true, tasty and genuine (both for lunch and dinner): from the classic version with meatballs and ragù, to the exquisite variant with stew and potatoes, from that with fried meatballs with Friarielli to that with Parmigiana Aubergines and mushrooms, from the one with pizzaiola meat to the one with mortadella and provola cheese of Agerola, from the one with “scarole”  and provola to that with cutlet and peppers or that with the Mexican beans, to the special  version  of the Cuzzetiello with the octopus.

For the most glutton people in Naples there is also the variant of Cuzzetiello with Nutella and, for vegans, the Vegan Cuzzetiello with vegetables. There is also the variant known as Caprese with Buffalo Mozzarella cheese  and the Cuzztiello Maxi (½ kg of café bread) to satisfy  ” mega-hungry” people .

A special cuzzetiello is  made with the Genovese, which combines the two best-loved food by Neapolitan people the Genovese meat and the crunchy cuzzetiello of cafone bread and this version  is considered the best of all and for this reason is also called “Maradona” – in honor of the only idol of Neapolitan soccer fans.

But how do you prepare a Cuzzetiello? You take half a piece of cafone bread, empty the crumbs, keep the end also acting as a thermal cap and fill it with every wonder you want!

How is the cuzzetiello born? The Neapolitan tradition of ragù is closely linked to that of cuzzetiello. For decades, in numerous and noisy Neapolitan families, the cuzzetiello is a “challenge”: only the fastest and the lucky ones will enjoy this delicious food that immersed in ragù sauce expresses in its simplicity the taste of typical Neapolitan cuisine and the values ​​of the family.

 

There is only one advice to eat: do not be afraid to get dirty (there is the risk of overflowing because of the ingredients and their abundance)

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Marianna Somma
Art Lover & Food Writer

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